Album Review of

Written by Joe Ross
July 27, 2022 - 10:24am EDT
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Norwegian hardanger fiddler Britt Pernille Frøholm grew up in Nordfjord, was introduced to the local music by her grandfather, then earned degrees at the Ole Bull Academy and Telemark University College. Her on-going musical projects have included traditional music from the northwest, poetry for hardanger, improvised original contemporary music, and various jazz duos and trios. She clearly has many interests, and her experience and skill allow her to merge musical elements from a wealth of styles. A few years ago, her third solo album Fokhaugen was a tribute to the great players in the northwest, brothers Ola and Ivar Kjelstad from Sunnylven. Bringing the past alive again, the master fiddler played old songs that were big hits in their time, from composers who were great personalities. Fokhaugen conveyed the power, tenderness and relevance of their legacy.

Now, on Årringar, Frøholm joins forces with double bassist Sigurd Hole in a collaboration that celebrates life as much as it takes us on a captivating journey filled with contrasts inspired by the four seasons amidst the fiords and glaciers of Norway. Norwegian bass player Sigurd Hole is well known for his work with The Tord Gustavsen Trio and The Karl Seglem Band. Together, the two musicians explore their sonic worlds to see what might happen when old folk tunes meet contemporary compositions. The album’s title refers to the growth rings on a tree stump and symbolize the cyclical nature of life.

While some electronic programming and enchanting vocals could have also colored the sonic canvas, their rawboned music is profoundly organic, congenial and rather dreamy as they treat us to their musical impressions of such symbols as “Nyarssol” (New Year’s Sun), “Dvergmal” (Dwarf Moth), “Skyming” (Dusk), “Myrkret” (Darkened)and “Vinterfred” (Winter Peace). The transcendent beauty of this meditative music lies in the cyclical nature of life itself. The hardanger and bass converse with logic and creativity, call and response, sound and silence, tension and release. Between the two of them and their notes lie space, and this gives their delicate, imaginative music its vitality. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)